Archive for the ‘Ai Weiwei’ Category

While I was in Melbourne for Trudi and Paul’s new year’s party, I thought it would be good to see the Weiwei and Warhol exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. I’d never been to the NGV and they always seem to have these fabulous exhibitions that I miss out on. So Matthew (Dweeb) and I stayed in a hotel in Doncaster for four nights so we could go to the party, visit a few friends and go to the exhibition. Trudi and Paul went along with us, or is that us with them. Okay, Paul drove so we went with them!

I do like to walk around exhibitions with friends and chat and look but we all parted ways at the opening, not on purpose it just happened. Trudi was called back because she had a small back pack and then I got distracted by artworks (fancy that) and Paul did too and the Dweeb was looking over stuff minutely. I’m used to the Dweeb reading every line of every picture, sulpture display so I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go that slowly and that I’d probably be stuffing cakes in my mouth and swilling tea for a hour or more before he left the exhibition. I don’t like crowds so sometimes I skip bits if it’s too fussy with people!

I didn’t take a lot of shots, just some hints as to the brilliance of this exhibition. I know Ai Weiwei’s name as an activist and that he’s an artist but not his art or why he’d be co-shown with Warhol. I think the curators have done wonders with this presentation. There is amazing cohesion between the artists. They both use multiple media, sometimes using the everyday to express their ideas and comment on society, they both use film and photography as well as the written word.

The exhibition also catered for children in fun and interesting ways and I thought it was innovative in that way rather like the artists. Well done. NGV. You made my first visit an event to remember.

Note: The images here are provided for the purpose of critique and review.


I can’t describe in detail the first section of the exhibition but that would spoil it. I did take a shot of an activity section between rooms


This next shot is the detail of the wall paper in the corridor.

wall detail

This shovel is one of Weiwei’s-an example of using the everyday.


The bicycle installation was an example of art being a political protest.bicycle

In another break between rooms there were more balloons.

more balloons

Weiwei works across mediums. This photo is a small section of porcelain flowers, a truly remarkable piece.

porcelin flowers


The stool sculpture is made from traditionally made stools with no nails or glue.



Warhol and Weiwei had Mau in common and the curators here had juxtaposed them quite nicely. The first is a section of Mau wall paper but there were a number of portraits of him.

wall detail Mau


Then a Warhol portrait on the wall paper.

mau on mau

It’s interesting. I studied Warhol and Pop art in school but I really didn’t know what an amazing person he was and how much he did. Weiwei uses plastic bricks, sort of Lego, to make pictures too.

section of wall

There was a great range of Warhol art in this exhibition. It was more comprehensive than I expected. They have really put together an in-depth exhibition so you should go along. it’s open until April.

Now an obligatory Warhol picture -Jackie



There was a lot of photos from both artists, but my favourite had to be Weiwei’s famous geographic icons. I won’t spoil it for you.

Lastly, a comprehensive set of sculptures from Weiwei.


So as I mentioned I got separated from Trudi, Paul and the Dweeb. I had high hopes of having tea with Trudi and Paul while we waited for the Dweeb and I was in luck, but just. Phone reception within the gallery itself sucks big time! Like none. I couldn’t get in touch with Matthew to tell him my pants were on fire if I wanted to.

Trudi and Paul took me to the upstairs tea room where we had excellent tea and coffee and cakes. I tried something I knew nothing about and it was scrumptious! We waited and debated what to do while we waited for the Dweeb as Matthew could not be seen and was unable to be contacted due to crap NGV internet coverage. This was the only downside to the whole venture. Trudi suggested looking up other things in the general exhibition. We didn’t want to take too long in case we missed Matthew and Trudi wanted to show me the textiles, which were fab and her favourite installation, which has become mine. I liked this guy.


I can’t upload the film I took of the bowls in water installation on the third floor but I think I can do this. Click here.

Still no sign of Matthew, we headed to the surrealist exhibition which was in another building of the NGV. I managed to get a message to Matthew hoping he would see it instead of looking for us. Not long after we arrived at the other exhibition, Matthew had emerged from the Weiwei/Warhol and had to amuse himself until we got back.

I took a shot of this because I wanted to show Matthew after and it reminded me of a Warhammer 40 K painting.

second surrealis

he Australian Surrealist exhibition was not a comprehensive or amazing as the Weiwei/Warhol one, but it was eye opening. I didn’t know these artist existed before, except maybe one or two. I didn’t know Barry Humphries was an artist (Dame Edna).

This I took because it was glass and Matthew has an interest in that medium.

third surrealist

Then there was this sort of feminine contortionist sculpture, well that is what it looks like to me.


So that’s it, my delving into culture. Highly recommend the NGV. The Dweeb wants to have a method to keeping tabs on each other for future exhibitions. I think he didn’t like being left behind. No phone contact made that hard too.

And here is the view of the Dweeb waiting for us to return. I knew he’d go to the shop and he did. He bought the amazing catalog!






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